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The Top 5 Ways to Prep Your Home for Photos

mom lying on the floor with kids playing on her photographed by NPS Photography

As a Washington, DC-based family and newborn photographer who mostly photographs ALL of my sessions in-home, I know getting your home ready for my arrival can cause a little stress. But, let me reassure you: getting your home ready for its close-up is not as hard as it sounds! In preparing hundreds of families for their photo sessions, I’ve distilled my tips down to a handy checklist of my top 5 ways to prep your home for photos. 

The 5 Ways to Prep Checklist

Nothing to be afraid of…in the time it takes you to read this blog, you could be well on your way to completing the checklist.

1. Grab a laundry basket and fill ‘er up

Despite what it sounds like, I’m not going to insist you do laundry for the session (unless what you want to wear is already in your hamper!) On the contrary, your laundry basket is the PERFECT vessel for doing a sweep of your home and putting all of the things you don’t want in your pictures right inside that handy basket.

What items do I mean? Well, it’s different for everyone, but phone chargers, alarm clocks, breast pumps, cups, remotes, even that messy stack of mail you’ve been meaning to sort – these things can translate as clutter in your photos and putting them all into your laundry basket is a quick and easy way to make a big (and clutter-free) impression. Once it’s filled, pop that basket into a closet, bathroom or even the trunk of your car, and forget about it until later! 

2. Forget the professional cleaning crew

A professional cleaning service is a luxury we don’t all utilize and, the good news is, is TOTALLY unnecessary ahead of your portrait session. While a quick vacuuming is much appreciated, that laundry basket sweep covers a lot of ground and makes a huge difference in your home’s appearance. I’ve photographed around a lot of challenges, and a few dust mites won’t kill me…or your photos. So please, save the Mr. Clean for another day. 

3. Let the light in

Before I arrive, turn off all of the overhead lights, lamps and even under-counter lighting and open all of your blinds to let the natural light pour in. I am always looking for the spaces within your home where the light streams in through the windows, so those are the rooms we’ll most likely be shooting in. Focus on those for your decluttering over anywhere else! And, if your baby’s nursery doesn’t have the best light, don’t worry – we’ll work with it and be sure to capture a few special shots there, too. 

4. Break out the best bedding

The best bedding? Break out neutral bedding or, better yet, white bedding, which is best for those stunning family and baby-only shots. If you don’t have white bedding, don’t fret. If you have a simple white sheet, toss that on top of your bed. This trick works for me as a light reflector, and for you as a clean backdrop so that baby and you are the stars of the show!

5. Play that funky music

I find that everyone is more relaxed and at ease when their favorite music is playing…so ask Alexa to play your favorite tunes and turn ‘em up! If you and your kiddos find yourselves dancing to the beat, even better. I’ll be right there to capture it! 

ALL music is welcome! From Frozen to Baby Shark to dad playing his guitar – it’s ALL WELCOME!

mom and two kids playing photographed by NPS Photography

You’ve Got This!

See? Getting your home ready for your in-home photo session is not as daunting as it seems. In fact, some may say it’s pretty easy. And as a side note, I’m more than happy to move something that might be distracting in a photo, so don’t be surprised if I ask to do just that!

Do you have more questions about the getting-ready process? Drop me a line and tell me more! 

dc photographer

meet natasha

I'm DC photographer, Natasha Sewell. I'm all about capturing those unscripted, full-of-personality moments in the comfort of your home.

As a mom of three and a former elementary school teacher turned in-home newborn and family photographer, I know how to get your littles to cooperate and have FUN!

Let’s get to preserving your family's real-life moments in the place you’re most comfortable – your home.

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